Saturday highlights at the 2011 Society of Biblical Literature conference:
1. In the review of Antonio Negri’s The Labor of Job, Chairman Boer was seen to shudder and convulse in his chair when Erin Runions recited the following sentence from Negri’s book: “How can one continue to be a communist after Stalin?” (p.8)
2. The little desserts at the SBL Student Reception – the butterscotch pudding was just fantastic, and that pecan pie – mmmm mmmmm!
3. A conversation with Jorunn Buckley in the InterContinental bar. Quick summary: She is on a mission to rid the SBL of identity politics, postcolonialism, and other forms of pseudo-scholarship that have wrecked biblical studies and brainwashed students. The worst offender is that Roland Boer fellow from Australia, with his Manifesto, which is no good. She is planning to “mow down” Roland sometime this conference.
4. The nervous shit I had before my paper. That settled me down, so I could talk freely about the embedded racism which is endemic in Pentateuchal scholarship – and Giants – at the Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory Section.
5. The meeting of THREE gigantologists – all coming together in one place: Brian Doak, who submitted an excellent dissertation on giants in April 2011, Matthew Goff, who publishes an article on giants about once a month, and me.
6. Gillian Townsley and Philip Culbertson’s striking juxtaposition of Robert Gagnon with Monique Wittig in their paper in the Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible Group. Their paper contrasted Robert Gagnon’s unhealthy obsession with genitalia, penises, vaginal recepticles, and penetration with Monique Wittig’s more healthy and holistic approach to human bodies.
7. I met Michael Kok.
8. My purchase of Pentateuch, Hexateuch, or Enneateuch? Identifying Literary Works in Genesis through Kings (SBL, November 2011), which has contributions by Konrad Schmid, Thomas Römer, Erhard Blum, David Carr, Suzanne Boorer, Christoph Levin, Cynthia Edenburg, Michael Konkel, Thomas Dozeman, Christoph Berner, and Felipe Blanco Wißmann. Great bedtime reading!
9. Og comics in the Hebrew children books exhibit. Yes – Og, as in King Og of Bashan, the last of the remnant of the Rephaim (a Giant!!)
10. When we crashed the Equinox reception, I met all the guys from the Bulletin for the Study of Religion / Religion Bulletin blog: Philip Tite, Kenny Paul Smith, Nathan Rein, and Craig Martin. Craig thought he was getting fat, but he is in fact quite skinny.